Western Michigan University has graduated a number of students who have gone on to become notable figures and make significant contributions in many different ways. Some of those ways are in sports or acting. These are just five popular names that you may want to learn more about. Know that each of them has stepped foot on the WMU campus, and the same opportunities lie ahead for students today!


Terry Crews

Born Terry Alan Crews in Flint, Michigan, he attended WMU on a full athletic scholarship to play football for the Broncos. He was then drafted into the NFL in the 11th round and played for the Rams, Chargers, Redskins, and Eagles.

After retiring from football, Terry moved to Los Angeles and found his passion in acting. After trying a few different roles, he found his spotlight acting in Friday After Next with Ice Cube. He went on to act in White Chicks, The Longest Yard, and a number of other TV and movie productions, winning awards and nominations from the Screen Actors Guild, the NAACP, and others. Terry’s impact is a unique blend of sports and athletics, along with art and acting. He even drew portraits of other football players while playing in the NFL.


Tim Allen

Tim Allen is a famous actor and comedian, originally from Denver, Colorado. Tim transferred to Western Michigan University in 1974 and earned a degree in communications with a focus in radio and TV. He also had a minor in philosophy and design.

Tim started his comedy career because of a dare from one of his friends to get on stage at a comedy club outside of Detroit. That dare snowballed into local TV commercials and cable comedy shows. Tim then moved to LA and got his big break starring on ABC’s Home Improvement as Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor. He also starred in Disney’s The Santa Clause and was the voice of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story, along with many other productions.

Tim was named a Disney Legend and has also been nominated and won awards from the People’s Choice Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, and the MTV Movie Awards.


Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He got his start as a background singer for many mainstream artists, such as Judy Collins, Chaka Khan, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, David Bowie, and many more.

Luther was born in NYC, attended high school in the Bronx, and then attended WMU before making his jump into a music career. He moved on to be the lead singer of a group named Change, and later signed as a solo artist to Epic Records. Luther is known for his R&B music, selling over 36 million records. He won eight Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year and Best R&B Album, along with other awards.



Bruce Campbell

Bruce Campbell is famous for his acting and comedy. He was born in Royal Oak, Michigan and attended Western Michigan University. His acting started at a young age, creating short films with his friends. Bruce is known for his appearances and lead roles in Hercules and Burn Notice, and for directing films like Man with the Screaming Brain and My Name Is Bruce.

Bruce resides in Jacksonville, Oregon with his family. He is also an ordained minister and has officiated weddings.


Greg Jennings

Gregory Jennings Jr. is a former NFL wide receiver who played for the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings, and Miami Dolphins. He grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and stayed to attend WMU to play football for the Broncos and earn a MAC Offensive Player of the Year Award. Greg was then drafted by the Packers and went on to win a Super Bowl against the Steelers. Outside of playing, he now is an analyst for Fox Sports.

Greg also has a charity to help underprivileged children and youth organizations.


Football player on field wearing Green Bay Packers jersey

Greg Jennings, via Wikimedia Commons by Gabriel Cervantes, CC BY-SA 3.0

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